We spent the last two days in Rothenburg (ob der tauber) which is the indisputably best preserved medieval town in Western Europe or maybe even the world (?). It was a favorite place we visited every year, delightful for adults and always magical for children.
The doorways are sized perfectly for children. Here’s a sample of sizing evolution in action (below).
We saw lots of cool things I’ll show you later when I get back but thought I’d post photos of clothing related stuff now. I have decided that neckline darts have either never gone out of fashion in Germany (I think Germanic peoples tend to be egg shaped) or they’re headed for their way back in. Here’s a few shots seen from store windows. Also note these are raglans and most have gussets. Yeah for gussets!
We were in this boutique owned by the Night Watchman -a whole other story- and I found these jackets by a DE named Ganz who’d been manufacturing from Rothenburg. The Nightwatchman said his stuff was too pricey for tourists so he went under. Check out the juncture of the finish of the front inside lining, hem and facing. I rest my case.
Here’s a couple things I saw out and about. Check out how this shoulder dart has been rotated into the back armhole (below).
One of the things we did was go to the “criminal museum” in Rothenberg. Frankly, they were scraping for material. Rothenburg was never known to exact tortures on its citizenry. Most of the material was borrowed from private collections from other places and not to say it wasn’t interesting because it was but it was closer to a museum of law and order. Here is the only thing I saw at the museum that was a real torture to my eyes, a mono-butt extraordinaire.
I think these would be painful to wear. And smelly. Who’d want you after wearing one of these a couple of days anyway?
One funny category of devices we there were for shaming offending parties in public. Shaming devices seemed to be common (I could have used some of these yesterday). These were typically metal masks, caricatures and shamed the wearer for talking too much, gossiping, telling dirty jokes etc. We found one shaming device designed for bad musicians (below). Off to the side is an illustration showing how it was typically used. The device was locked around the neck with hands affixed in the device. These days, we just give bad musicians larger recording contracts.
Another thing that was common in the middle ages was enforcing dress codes but I imagine a lot of you historical clothing buffs already knew that. Here’s a depiction of a woman who is wearing clothing outside her class. The city council of Rothenburg enacted these standards in 1639 and prescribed penalties which entailed cutting off trains and long sleeves in public.
Here’s a photo of a silver embroidered bag, originally from Nurnberg. No big deal here but see the close up of those little “chain” stitches. These are actually bullion stitches! Perhaps ten or twelve stitches to each side of every little chain. Amazing work.
And last of all for today’s threads related tour, here’s some doilies that were custom made to fit these horse’s heads. They were the only team to have these, none others did. I thought the knit socklets fitting over their ears was a riot. I supposed it helped with flies.